The Winnipeg Jets play in their fourth preseason game, and the first since making training camp cuts yesterday.
In all, 17 players got the axe on Saturday. Of the 11 reassigned to the Manitoba Moose, only Patrice Cormier had any imaginable shot at cracking Winnipeg's roster. In addition, five players were released to their junior clubs, in Jansen Harkins, Matteo Gennaro, Luke Green, Jordy Stallard and Michael Spacek.
With these cuts, there are 25 forwards, 13 defencemen and four goalies at camp. Which is to say, subsequent exhibition games still matter for a good number of players remaining.
For tonight's match against the Calgary Flames, the experiment of pairing Patrik Laine and Joel Armia continues, this time with Bryan Little serving as pivot. Fans may also be treated to another fourth line possibility, if Brandon Tanev skates alongside Adam Lowry and Alexander Burmistrov. Tanev's preseason has been something of a revelation, showcasing the speed and drive which for most, were previously mere words on various scouting reports. It would be a mistake to overestimate his ceiling, but it's clear that he brings tangible positives to the table.
@mooresy72 Armia, Copp and Tanev have impressed me most of group you've mentioned. Tanev has big league speed. Don't think all 3 make it tho— Sean C. Reynolds (@snseanreynolds) October 2, 2016
Difficult decisions come with the territory of legitimate forward depth, and Tanev has made a solid case for himself. Whether it's enough to beat out some of the other names on tonight's roster remains to be seen.
Like Tanev, Josh Morrissey will be playing in his fourth preseason tilt. Beyond that, the less said about Winnipeg's defence tonight, the better. It's a lineup which wouldn't look out of place with the Manitoba Moose.
"It's my first time wearing a Jets jersey in the Saddledome." Morrissey on playing in his hometown of Calgary tonight. pic.twitter.com/44BJ2Hdwm2— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 2, 2016
The plan is for Ondrej Pavelec to play the entire game, facing off against Chad Johnson of "Hi, I'm Chad Johnson" fame. On Calgary's side, old friend Michael Frolik is making his preseason debut, along with Mikael Backlund. The Flames' forward and d-corps are both solid enough so far as exhibition action goes, and should make for a stiff challenge.
Keep an eye on Calgary's third pairing of Nicklas Grossman and Mikhail Grigoriev. Grossman may be facing the end of his NHL career, while the largely unknown Grigoriev is looking to begin his at the ripe old age of 25.
When, Where & How
Sunday, Oct. 02, 8:00 p.m. CT, Scotiabank Saddledome
Radio: TSN 1290, Sportsnet 960 The FAN
|Left Wing||Centre||Right Wing|
|Patrik Laine||Bryan Little||Joel Armia|
|Brandon Tanev||Adam Lowry||Alexander Burmistrov|
|Scott Kosmachuk||Andrew Copp||Marko Dano|
|Chris Thorburn||Chase De Leo||JC Lipon|
|Josh Morrissey||Paul Postma|
|Mark Stuart||Ben Chiarot|
|Julian Melchiori||Brian Strait|
|Left Wing||Centre||Right Wing|
||Mikael Backlund||Michael Frolik|
|Lance Bouma||Matt Stajan||Linden Vey|
|Matthew Tkachuk||Sam Bennett||Alex Chiasson|
|Brandon Bollig||Freddie Hamilton||Emile Poirier|
|TJ Brodie||Dennis Wideman|
|Jyrki Jokipakka||Brett Kulak|
|Nicklas Grossman||Mikhail Grigoriev|